This page may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. This post is about how to make the hearty and comforting stew called Cholent.
Cholent AKA Sabbath Stew
Dictionary.com defines Cholent (noun in Jewish cooking) as: "a stewed or baked dish, especially of meat and beans, served on the Sabbath but cooked the day before or overnight over a slow fire." Cholent was developed over time to comply with Jewish laws that prohibited cooking on the Sabbath. So it is usually prepared on Friday, cooked overnight, and then eaten on the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday).
I have read that the name most likely comes from a combination of "chaud" from the French meaning "hot" and "lent" meaning slow.
This is a traditional dish steeped in history, and absolutely comforting and hearty. It is also one of the 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die!
1,000 Foods To Eat Project
I am working my way through the foods that are listed in the book 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. This is called my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project. Sabbath Stew is food #55 in my Project! Learning about this incredible dish and preparing it for my family has been a fantastic experience! You can imagine that having to wait so many hours to eat the Cholent was very difficult. The aromas from the cooking of this stew made it so!
In this book, the author Mimi Sheraton lists her choice for the 1,000 Foods of the World that you MUST try. So let's get ready to make some Cholent! 😃
Ingredients You Will Need For A Basic And Delicious Cholent
There are many variations on this Jewish stew. Here I would like to share a basic recipe which is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- Beef stew meat
- Chickpeas (dried) - can sub dried white beans or dried lima beans
- Powdered ginger
- Water or beef broth
Please note I recommend you use dried chickpeas for this dish. You won't even have to soak them! They will spend enough time cooking in the slow cooker to become wonderfully tender.
As mentioned this is a very basic recipe for Cholent. Feel free to add some other veggies like celery or carrots to the mix if you like!
The Very Easy Method To Make Sabbath Stew!
It's SUPER EASY to make Cholent! However...patience is required 😃. This will take a minimum of 12 hours in the slow cooker. I have read that Jewish cooks believe that the longer your stew cooks the better it will taste...so let it go longer if you can bear it!
Simply prepare the potatoes and onions by peeling and dicing them. The garlic cloves should be peeled and then smashed. Rinse the barley and chickpeas.
Then simply combine all your ingredients in your slow cooker! Place the beef at the bottom and then top with barley and chickpeas. Next add the potatoes, onions, and spices. The spices include paprika, ginger, salt, and pepper.
Now add water or beef broth to just cover the ingredients in your slow cooker. Nestle the eggs gently into the mixture. These eggs are raw and will cook in the crockpot.
Set the slow cooker on low, and allow to cook for a minimum of 12 hours. Remember, the longer you allow to cook the better 😊. Every so often, check and add a little bit of water or beef broth if necessary to keep this looking like a stew.
By the way, I have a 3 qt slow cooker so this recipe will make 3 largish servings. The recipe ingredients can be easily doubled to serve 6 people if you have a larger crockpot to work with!
Try to be patient as your Cholent cooks...it will smell so good that you will want to eat it before the 12 hours is up. Savor the aroma, and look forward to your comforting stew which will be worth the wait.
Your delicious stew is now ready to serve! Oops...I forgot...please peel the eggs before serving. 😆
What To Serve With Cholent
I served my Sabbath Stew with some home made bread that my husband made. It would go equally well with rice I should think.
I do hope you will enjoy some delicious, hearty, and comforting Cholent soon!
Some Other Recipes You May Enjoy!
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Hearty and Comforting Cholent aka Sabbath Stew
- 3 qt or larger slow cooker
- 1 lb beef stew meat fatty is ok
- ⅓ cup barley
- ½ cup dried chickpeas can sub dried lima or white beans
- 2 potatoes medium sized, peeled and diced
- 1 onion large, peeled and diced
- 10 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 2-3 eggs
- 1 ts paprika
- 1 ts garlic
- 1 ts salt more may be added at the end to taste
- 1 ts pepper more may be added at the end to taste
- water or beef broth amount will vary - use just enough to cover and then add more if necessary to keep a stew like consistency
- Peel and dice the potatoes and onions. Peel the garlic and smash the cloves. Rinse the barley and chickpeas with water.
- Place the beef at the bottom of your slow cooker and then top with barley and chickpeas.
- Next add the potatoes, onions, and spices. The spices include paprika, ginger, salt, and pepper.
- Now add water or beef broth to just cover the ingredients in your slow cooker. Stir to combine. Nestle the eggs gently into the mixture. These eggs are raw and will cook in the crockpot.
- Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 12 hrs. Every once in awhile check to see if more water or broth is needed to keep a stew like consistency and add if necessary. Taste and adjust for seasoning by adding more salt and pepper to taste. You can now peel the eggs. 🙂
- Serve your Cholent with some delicious bread!